Haven – A Review of a Disappointing Novel


30119375I am not going to lie, I went into this with fairly low expectations. Then again, I have been going into all the book I read lately with pretty low expectations. This book, though, surprised me and was better than I thought. It just wasn’t good enough.

The plot follows Heaven, a girl blessed, or possibly cursed, with immortality. Although she ages just as a normal person would, she cannot be killed. So after the brutal murder of her family, she is the only one left to sit upon the throne. All this while an evil sorcerer queen is invading all the surrounding kingdoms. Now, the royals must band together to get rid of this threat.

So, to the review. The main idea of this book is actually very interesting. This book could have been truly amazing. Sadly, it just fell flat. This was in the most part due to the very flat characters. It’s like none of them were really there when everything was happening.

We get Haven, a character who despite seeming deep came across as a bit shallow. It’s like there was nothing to her, no fire inside. Then we have all of her servants/bodyguards whose only job is to obsess over Haven’s safety, despite the fact that everyone knows she can’t be killed. They are always running around worried that something might happen to poor Haven, even though they know that someone could shoot an arrow in her heart and she will just bounce back a few seconds later. In fact, that exact thing happens in the first few pages and the guards were freaking out.

Then there were things that just didn’t add up. Kingdoms aren’t run so nonchalantly. One does not simply give one’s army away. One also does not arrange a secret meeting for kings and expect everyone to arrive within hours. These are kingdoms, vast and grand, not next door towns. Also. how did Haven’s overprotective guard not notice that she was gone? There were also a lot of things that did not make sense, or that simply wouldn’t happen in real life.

Aside from the stalling plot and little character development, the thing that bothered me most, and the thing that made it go down from three to two stars, was the number of grammar mistakes. As and English major, whenever I see an obvious grammar mistake part of me dies a little. This happens a lot when I tutor 9th graders in writing. But, when I am dealing with high school freshmen it’s a little more understandable that grammar and spelling mistakes will happen than when I am reading a published novel. Maybe the problem is that a new editor is needed. Or just an editor to begin with.

It’s a real shame about this book. I really wanted to like it and I always feel bad giving two-star reviews. Sadly, this book was simply not one I liked very much. It had serious potential, it just failed in its execution.


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